Cat Care

Should you use flea shampoo, spray or mousses?

Woman checking cat for fleas

Flea shampoos, sprays and dips are valuable tools in a flea-control program.

A flea collar alone may not be enough to provide complete relief, particularly in cases of heavy flea infestations.

Dry flea shampoo for cats

Dry, foam-type flea shampoos can be particularly useful for cats that hate being bathed, Johnson said. “Just put a dollop of it in your palm, rub it into their fur, and then maybe take a wet washcloth to help get some of the dirt and dander out,” she advised.

We strongly recommend Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Waterless Bath Foam for Cats. This dry flea treatment for cats contains certified natural oils and is highly effective at killing fleas.

If you want to wash your cat, read our advice on giving your cat a bath.

Flea sprays for cats

Flea sprays are probably the next most popular flea products after shampoos and collars, Johnson added.

Our recommendation and Amazon’s best seller with over 2,000 reviews is: Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Cats.

Many over-the-counter flea products contain pyrethrins, a substance derived from the chrysanthemum flower with a quick knockdown effect on fleas but a relatively short duration of the activity.

Synthetic versions are also used and give a similar quick-kill but tend to be somewhat longer-acting. Water-based or reduced-alcohol formula mousses and sprays are advertised as being gentler if your cat’s skin has already been irritated by biting fleas.

Another common ingredient found in flea shampoos is d-limonene, a citrus-based flea killer considered quite safe.

Stopping fleas from coming back

Sprays, dips, shampoos and mousses all help give your pet immediate relief by killing the biting adults, explained Elizabeth Curry-Galvin, DVM, technical services veterinarian for Sandoz Animal Health, makers of Zodiac flea control products. But it’s important not to stop there. Look for products that contain an insect growth regulator to kill flea eggs and break the flea life cycle, she advised.

We also recommend that you use carpet spray for fleas and ticks, to kill any fleas that came off your cat and are living there. Those fleas will easily reproduce in a carpet and will back onto your cat, or onto you.

Also see the complete list of cat flea treatments.

About the author

Kacper Jednorowicz

Hi, I'm Kacper! I have a four-year-old female Bengal cat, called Coco. She's an active and friendly indoor cat that lives with us in the UK, but also enjoys several hours a day in the garden. Just like any responsible and loving cat owner, I want to ensure that she's a happy and healthy cat! My articles cover guides and reviews based on professional vet advice, our own experiences with Coco and plenty of research!

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

About Meow Guide

Meow Guide's Coco
Our furry friend is a four-year-old Bengal girl called Coco – she’s crazy, has plenty of energy and is VERY noisy! More about us.